Rich Bonsey Memorial 60+ Festival

On Sunday 22nd April we met at Park Community School to remember our former player and club stalwart Rich Bonsey, who died of cancer on 25th April 2017.  As well as the walking football, there was a raffle and quiz night to follow.  Having extorted additional match fees out of guest teams and then plundered them for raffle tickets and prizes, the profit from the day was to go to Southampton University’s Cancer Immunology Research.

The Many Shades got out of the blocks well, and in no time were 1-0 up against Bognor Regis Boulders, thanks to James McIlwaine’s fine finish.  However the strikers decided that charity was order of the day, and conspired to miss at least six good chances before Derek Pope finally decided to put one away.  With Bognor on the rocks, Bobby De Ste Croix wrapped up a 3-0 win for us.


With his dedicated fan club in attendance, Stew was determined to put on a show

Next up was a tough game against pre-tournament favourites Pompey ITC.  Slightly against the run of play, James squeezed home a first-half goal, and from that point on it was a little like the Alamo as Pompey played some excellent football that was well matched by the Many Shades’ well-drilled defence.  Particular mention must go to the inspired Player of the Festival, goalie Colin Jeffery, whose performance earned us a 1-0 win.


With Bobby looking on, Rich moves in on Nick from Pompey ITC

The Many Shades then met a solid and enterprising Fleet of Foot side, who as winners of our previous 60+ Festival were no push-over.  A tense game ended 0-0.


Barry T in full flow


A busy CJ in goal tips a shot onto the upright


Unwisely, Derek gets his backside in the way of one of Rich’s piledrivers

Mountbatten were our next opponents, and they had only narrowly lost to Pompey, and drawn their other matches, so were not going to be easy.  It took the “Goal of the Festival” from Bobby to open the scoring, a stunning finish into the top corner from some distance.  With Mountbatten having to push forward after this, an opportunity arose for Rich Bishop to score from just inside the area, and a 2-0 win seemed a fair result.


Rich drives one into the box with James ready to pounce

The Many Shades’ final game was against Emsworth & Hayling, who were coming off a totally uncharacteristic 5-0 hammering by Pompey.  Beware the wounded animal, and sure enough they put up a very hard-working performance, scoring the only goal that CJ conceded all day.  Fortunately goals from Rich and Bobby (2) saw us comfortably home by a 3-1 scoreline.

The final positions on the day were the Many Shades first with 13 points from five games, Pompey ITC second (12), followed by Fleet of Foot (8), Emsworth & Hayling (5), Mountbatten WFT (2), and finally Bognor Regis Boulders (1).

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Your Many Shades squad was: (back) Derek Pope, Barrie Gray (Timekeeper-in-chief), Bobby De Ste Croix, Rich Bishop, Barry Ingram, Tindall, Pete Dolamore. (front) Colin Jeffery (g), James McIlwaine, Stew Russell

We all returned to the Westleigh for the buffet and presentation.  For the first time in all of the Festivals that the Many Shades have put on, we actually won one – at the NINETEENTH attempt!!!  Derek Pope proudly accepted the trophy on our behalf.

The buffet of course was our true highlight of the day, and once again Suzette and Natalie did us proud, with yet another Probably the best Walking Football Buffet in the World.  The quiz night was won by the very talented Mountbatten WFT team, who made early but effective use of their joker.

Overall winner of the day was of course the fundraising for Southampton University Cancer Immunology Research, which benefited to the tune of £341.21 after expenses. 


Havant Borough Community Lottery

We are very pleased to announce that The Many Shades of Grey has been deemed a worthy cause by the new Havant Borough Community Lottery.

With a weekly top prize of £25,000, please consider having a flutter and support your favourite walking football team.

For more details, please click here or see below.

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Football For Cancer Charity Day

Last weekend, the Many Shades were pleased to be involved in a “Through the Ages” Football For Cancer charity day. A fundraising event that originally was planned to take place on the hallowed turf of Westleigh Park but with the recent weather turning the pitch into a surface more akin to water polo, plan B was put into operation and we all convened at the Front Lawn.

With a small but perfectly formed crew of players turning up (bearing little relationship to the original group that had committed themselves to playing), we put out two teams, as usual: the Many Shades of Yellow and Grey. With Many Shades player Colin Jeffery organising the overall event, we were there to play a series of friendlies against Morgan Innovation and Technology, CJ’s “works side”, as well as each other.

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A youthful MIAT team with a couple of familiar faces in their ranks.

With MIAT fielding a very mixed age group, and none of them (apart from CJ and Jeff) having any experience of walking football, the Greys started against the Yellows, so that MIAT could get an idea of how the game is played. Due to the ad hoc nature of the squads, the Greys borrowed an older member of the MIAT squad, and then thoroughly confused themselves by not having a clue about their formation. This confusion allowed Bobby De Ste Croix to set Rich Bishop up for a textbook finish past the floundering Jeff Pickering in goal. That was enough to seal the victory, as the game went on to settle into an even battle of incompetence all round. Most notable was referee Micky Wallis’ firm command of the rules of the game and his understanding of how many minutes make up ten or twelve.

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Stew attempts to clear his lines with Bobby looking on, but …

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… it was a cleverly disguised pot shot at Micky the Ref

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Barry’s pin point pass find Pete

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The battle of the Petes in midfield

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With the back of the goal filling up with balls and damage limitation being the only option, Jeff opts for a blatant attempt at time wasting

Next the Yellows played MIAT, and it soon became apparent that not running and three-touch football were alien concepts for CJ’s collection of young novices. As a result the Yellows were able to produce a clinical 2-0 win thanks to a brace from Bobby De Ste Croix, the second a delightful and delicate goalkeeper-bewildering flick that rolled into the corner.

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Bobby on target

Borrowing Jeff again to play in goal, and with Rich Bishop bolstering their numbers, the Greys then played a warmed-up and quite energetic MIT side, who were superbly marshalled by CJ at the back. Unfortunately for the Greys, Jeff had remembered that he still has to pay off his mortgage and feed his family, all of which was dependent upon his employment at MIAT. So it came to pass that there was an unfortunate catalogue of goalkeeping errors which led to MIAT scoring a soft goal against the run of play. The sweet-passing Greys weren’t dismayed (too much) and continued to dominate the game, and it came as no surprise when Stew Russell coolly finished off a great passing move to equalise [Who writes this stuff? – Ed]. In spite of continued pressure, MIAT held on for a hard-earned draw.

The Yellows therefore won a very pretty trophy, which Bobby proudly collected at the photoshoot afterwards. Their squad was: a MIAT player and Pete Brown sharing goalkeeping duties, Barry Ingram, Pete Dolamore, Barry Tindall, and George Peters at the back, Rich Bishop in midfield, and Bobby De Ste Croix up front. The Greys lined up with Jeff Pickering in goal, Mick Sidwell at the back, and a midfield made up of Pete Brown, Carlo Macri, Rich Bishop (vs MIAT), Stew Russell, and Barrie Gray. They didn’t bother with a front man, preferring instead to play total football.

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On a serious note, the day raised more than £7,000 for the FFC fund. Well done to CJ and all the organisers for a great afternoon, despite the weather.


Many Shades have it covered

With it being imperative that this weekend’s home game v. Weston-super-mare went ahead, members of the Many Shades answered the call to arms to help with the covers.

Good Friday lunchtime saw a merry band of wellies-clad volunteers at Westleigh Park to assist Martyn and his team with whatever was necessary to ensure the game wasn’t added to the growing list of postponements.

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The covers coming off

Their efforts were rewarded. The referee was happy that the match could go ahead and despite the conditions deteriorating with the afternoon rain, the first team ran out worthy 2-0 winners to maintain their place at the top of the league.

A further call to arms on Sunday saw the return of the volunteers to ensure that the pitch was protected from the downpours forecasted for next week.

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The covers going back on